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“Campaign Against Gaza Genocide” thanks South Africa.



January 9, 2024

Her Excellency Ms. Tselane Mokuena

Filing of application at the ICJ by the Republic of South Africa

We are writing to you on behalf of The Campaign Against Gaza Genocide. This campaign represents a group of Jordanian citizens, activists and civil society organizations who are extremely concerned about the ongoing Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Consequently, we began action through visits to international NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others, followed by two large campaigns online, urging them to act by both calling upon the competent UN officials to intervene and appealing to governments to invoke the Genocide Convention.

Our next step was then to address governments directly and encourage them, to invoke said convention, while networking with activists abroad to do the same. Accordingly, we were also in touch with activists and lawyers in South Africa in December for this purpose. Needless to say, we were overjoyed when shortly thereafter, the Republic of South Africa filed its application at the ICJ.

In hindsight, we really should not have been surprised that the government of South Africa was moving ahead of our campaign and indeed ahead of the rest of the world. The historical close ties between the apartheid state of Israel and former apartheid regime in South Africa are well-known, and many of the weapons the latter used to kill South Africans were bought from Israel. And so, the choice of both peoples, South African and Palestinian, to resist oppression and injustice, has only naturally created bonds of affinity and brotherhood between the two. It is no wonder then, that the great President Nelson Mandela stated in 1997 “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” and then added during his 1999 visit to Gaza that he felt “at home among compatriots”.

The positions of South Africa over the years were not limited to statements, as it immediately established diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine after South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Over the years, numerous prominent South African figures have described Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as being even worse than apartheid. After Israel’s acts of piracy, murder and kidnapping in international waters against the 2010 Freedom Flotilla (in which one of our campaign members was assaulted and imprisoned), South Africa adopted one of the strongest positions globally again, recalling its ambassador from Israel, and reprimanding the Israeli ambassador.

Thus, the filing of the application at the ICJ, is a natural continuation of the trajectory South Africa followed after the downgrade of diplomatic relations with Israel and referring it to the ICC. It is no exaggeration to say that this principled and courageous action by South Africa was cheered by tens of millions around the world, with freedom-loving people everywhere looking to the country as leading the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed, wherever they may be. Just as the great people of South Africa broke the chains of apartheid in their country, we continue to pin great hopes on it to remain with the Palestinian people at the forefront of their “long walk to freedom”. Words cannot express our eternal gratitude. We are ever so humbled by all that you do, and ever so privileged and honored to have you as our brothers and sisters.

In love and solidarity,

The Campaign Against Gaza Genocide – Jordan